January 4, 2018
Just before Christmas, Visa released the results of a study indicating consumers are ready to move beyond passwords and embrace biometrics. Increasing comfort with biometrics spurred by the rise of mobile devices that unlock or complete payments using fingerprints or facial recognition could be a signal to banks, payment providers and merchants that it may finally be time to move away from using passwords to authenticate online users.
The study, commissioned by Visa and conducted by AYTM, found 86 percent of consumers “are interested” in biometrics as a way to verify their identity online and 46 percent think they are more secure than passwords. Solid majorities agree that using biometrics to authenticate themselves online and enable payments is easier (70 percent) and faster (61 percent).
“For financial institutions, the time has never been better to integrate biometric technology into banking apps and payments experiences for customers,” said Mark Nelsen, senior vice president of risk and authentication products for Visa. “Advances in mobile device features are increasing the accuracy and speed of biometrics, such that they can be used for financial transactions.”
Security, however, is still a concern for many consumers—perhaps offering a reason many businesses continue to cling to passwords to authenticate their online customers. Nearly half of those polled expressed concern that their biometric information could be hacked.